Spate of deaths at Sibanye-Stilwater is a crime against humanity - AMCU

2018-06-26 12:10
Sibanye gold mine. (News24, file)

Sibanye gold mine. (News24, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Two mining unions are calling for amendments to the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA), after yet another death at the Khomanani shaft at Sibanye-Stillwater's Driefontein operations.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says the act must be changed so that mine bosses can be prosecuted.

Mine spokesperson James Wellsted said a 35-year-old winch operator had entered a gully while busy cleaning during the night shift when he was hit by a scraper.

"The Mine Health and Safety Act must be amended so that mine bosses [can] also be held responsible. They must be prosecuted and sent to jail," NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said.

READ: Death toll at abandoned section of Sibanye-Stillwater mine rises to four

He said the union was on its way to the mine to assist with investigations.

"It is a very worrying situation at Sibanye and it shows that the company does not care about the mineworkers and the health and safety precautions," Mammburu said.

Death toll

Mammburu added that a "simple investigation" into the matter was not enough.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is also calling for urgent intervention, saying the current spate of deaths at Sibanye-Stillwater is a crime against humanity.

The death toll at the company's operations this year alone stands at more than 20 - close to half of the fatalities in the entire mining industry.

AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa says Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe and President Cyril Ramaphosa must intervene, and specifically look at section 23 of the MHSA.  

"This section gives workers the right to refuse to work in dangerous conditions, and the union [AMCU] wants it amended to give more power to workers and trade unions to counter the power of mining bosses."

He said the union was working on proposals, which would include specific procedures to strengthen section 23, as the current stipulations were deemed to be too open-ended.

"Currently, workers fear victimisation and unfair disciplinary action when calling upon this right.  They fear being bullied and intimidated for making a stand."

"The obvious other fear relates to loss of income," he said.

Mathunjwa said more investment was needed for the training of workers to recognise "hazardous working conditions".

He said the union would raise the health and safety concerns at the Sibanye-Stillwater's Safety Summit, which is expected to take place on Friday.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    sibanye stillwater  |  amcu  |  num  |  johannesburg  |  labour  |  accidents  |  mining  |  mining accidents

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.